Haddam Historical Society
Thankful Arnold House Museum
News and Events, May 26, 2017


Windows have long been an important part of my life, both professional and personal. I have spent many an hour on my 1874 house repainting or re-glazing our windows. In my job at the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission windows were an everyday event! I was the Deputy Director of the Preservation Department which had regulatory review over any changes to landmarked buildings in the five boroughs. There are currently more than 36,000 landmarked buildings in the city. A majority of our permit applications were for window changes and I ate, drank and dreamt windows for over ten years. First and foremost we needed a conditions survey. There is no point replacing perfectly good original windows. We would always encourage RESTORATION of existing windows if possible. If replacement was absolutely necessary we could approve in-kind replacement. If they wanted something different.....off to a public hearing. I have overseen window restoration at the Empire State Building, The Normandy Apartment Building, The Dakota (met Yoko Ono) and small brownstones in Brooklyn.

Why are windows important?
Windows are an extremely important part of a historic buildings character and integrity. Windows not only provide light, ventilation and link between inside/outside BUT enhance the appearance of the building. Windows were designed to harmonize with the style, scale and quality of the building. Original windows are an integral component of the building.  Modern replacement windows do not provide the important elements of the original window including texture, material, scale, style and link to the past.

Your historic windows CAN BE restored and we encourage you to attend the window lecture on June 5 by the Preservation Education Institute and CT Trust for Historic Preservation at Brainerd Academy from 7 to 9 pm. Free!
If you are really serious about restoring windows you can sign up for the three day intensive Restoration workshop at Brainerd Academy. More information below

FREE Lecture
Mon, June 5, 2017
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM EDT
Haddam CT Town Hall/Brainerd Academy
30 Field Drive
Haddam, CT
The Vermont-based Preservation Education Institute is bringing its popular program on Wooden Window Repair to Connecticut for a four-stop tour in May and June. Whether you are an owner, contractor, craftsperson, architect or someone who just loves old windows, join us for an informative program on the steps for historic wooden window repair.
This session provides an overview of how to restore historic wood windows authentically and safely. The learning objectives include the following:
ü Describe the process of wooden window restoration.
ü List steps to remove paint and glazing safely.
ü Hire and communicate with contractors and craftspeople to restore windows with confidence.
ü Use reference materials cited in the course for ongoing education and guidance.

Three day Workshop
June 7 to 9
Read more here:

Haddam Historical Society
Volunteer Thank You Gathering
3 pm to 5 pm
Sunday, June 4, 2017

R.S.V.P. 860-345-2400 or

Connecticut Open House Day
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Thankful Arnold House Museum
12 noon to 4 pm
Free admission and light refreshments.
Learn how to write with a quill pen.

Shiney Lapel Trio
Join us for an evening of Music on the shores of the beautiful Connecticut River in Higganum.
Bring your Dancing Shoes!
The shiny Lapel trio
Bring a dish to share and your own libations.
we will provide dessert and soft drinks
Bring a lawn chair or blanket for the concert by the water. 

Wearing Layers and bug spray suggested.
$20 per person
Please car pool or call 860-345-2400 for shuttle information.
Info and r.s.v.p. 860-345-2400 or contact@haddamhistory.org
Respond by June 15 and send check to HHS, P.O. Box 97, Haddam, CT 06438

Summer Program

Summer Program at the Haddam Historical Society
The Haddam Historical Society is pleased to announce its 12th annual summer program, "A Week in the Life of an Early American Child," offered for girls and boys ages 8-12. This year the program will take place Tuesday, June 20 - Friday, June 23, 2017. 
Students will travel back in time to the year 1830 and spend the week with Mrs. Thankful Arnold and her family.  All activities take place at the Thankful Arnold House Museum in Haddam, and they include caring for farm animals; carding, spinning and felting wool; creating a pierced tin lantern; making butter; baking; playing with Colonial toys and games, and even dancing! The fee is $139 for the four days with all materials and snacks included. The first three days, Tues June 20, Wed June 21 and Thurs June 22, will be half-day sessions (9 am to noon).  Friday June 23 will be a full day session (9 am to 3 pm). 
 For more information and registration, go to www.haddamhistory.orgFor questions, contact Sarah Neal, Education Coordinator, The Haddam Historical Society, at education@haddamhistory.org or call 860 345-2400.

Sunday, June 25. 2017 is 
Connecticut's Historic Gardens Day!

Visit the Thankful Arnold House Museum and garden to learn about how the Widow Arnold used herbs in the early 19th century. Visitors will be able to make an adorable teasel porcupine or mouse using material from our own garden. Our new garden brochure which was designed with a generous grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County will be unveiled and available to the public.

Free admission 12 Noon to 4 pm!

Connecticut's Historic Gardens is a group of 15 distinctive historic sites and gardens dotted throughout the state that offer visitors an opportunity to explore a variety of garden styles and time periods. Each year on the fourth Sunday in June the sites are open to the public to enjoy their beauty and history and foster an appreciation for these unique and special Connecticut landmarks.

Connecticut's Historic Gardens raises awareness of distinctive historic sites and gardens within Connecticut's borders. The group was started in 2002 and has since grown to 15 sites: Bellamy-Ferriday House & Garden, Bethlehem; Butler-McCook House & Garden, Hartford; Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme; Glebe House Museum & The Gertrude Jekyll Garden, Woodbury; Harkness Memorial State Park, Waterford; Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Hartford; Hill-Stead Museum, Farmington; New London County Historical Society & Shaw Mansion, New London; Osborne Homestead Museum & Kellogg Environmental Center, Derby; Promisek at Three Rivers Farm, Bridgewater; Roseland Cottage, Woodstock; Thankful Arnold House Museum, Haddam; Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum, Wethersfield; and Weir Farm National Historic Site, Wilton. For more information about the group, individual participating sites, and events, please visit  

Garden Request!
A new garden shed is about to arrive! We are looking for volunteers to help create, make and install a hanging system for our garden tools in the shed.

The Garden Crew is also looking for a donation of:
  • Flat top garden rake
  • Garden Hoe
Contact the office at 860-345-2400!
CT Valley Tobacco

On May 18th we had a delightful and informative presentation on Connecticut River Valley Tobacco by Brianna Dunlap the former director of the Connecticut Valley Tobacco Museum and author of Connecticut Valley Tobacco.

The presentation covered the fascinating history of tobacco in America and in particular the role it has played in Connecticut over the last 400 years. It was amazing how many people in the audience had direct experience working in the fields with either broad leaf tobacco or shade tobacco. Both Ed Stanton and Bill Organek worked as young men in the fields and recall it as back-breaking hard work. Sally Haase was raised on a tobacco farm and had an outstanding collection of tobacco farming related items and publications. My favorite was her scrapbook of memorabilia  from the filming of the Troy Donahue film "Parrish" in 1961 which was filmed in the Windsor/East Windsor area as well as other locations around the state.

Not only audience members had stories but other local residents sent in memories.

Frank L. Katkauskas wrote:

l lived in Manchester, Ct., born there in 1946, when l was 14 years old l worked for L. B. Hass Tobacco co. l was paid .45cents an hour to succer plants, we worked on shade grown tobacco in Buckland, So. Windsor, and maybe Windsor Locks. Once the tobacco was ready it got picked and l drove a tractor{.15cent} raise, and would drop the tobacco wagon at the shed and go back for another load. Very few of us boys got to work in the sheds because there were mostly young girls, 17-19 Jamaican, maybe,doing the hanging preparation, sort of taboo, the farm bosses always kept us locals away from the girls.
It was probably the filthiest job l ever did in my life, and l lived on a farm, but it was a great learning experience which i have never regretted doing. thought you might like to know.
Frank L. Katkauskas
110 Maple Ave. 
Higganum, Ct. 06441

Camp Filley Hike

  On Saturday, May 20 we had another informative program with a walk through the former Camp Filley in Cockaponsett State Forest. Rob Butterworth, former Haddam resident, active Connecticut Forest and Park Association volunteer and Cockaponsett "historian" lead a group of a dozen plus hardy souls into the woods to view the area where the CCC camp once stood. Eerily chimney stacks remain and latrine pits scar the earth but the barrack locations are visible and commemorative plaques mark this important part of Haddam's history.

 Shad Demonstration

On Sunday the Haddam Shad Museum and historical society hosted a shad boning demonstration by J.B. Lundgren, one of Haddam's only remaining shad fisherman. He expertly boned shad fillets for an enthusiastic audience and had samples of smoked shad to taste. A shad has 1300 bones and has been called the boniest fish in the world. J.B. has a practiced and steady hand and can prepare a fillet in under 5 minutes.
Haddam Now has a nice piece on J.B. found here:

J.B. Lundgren 

Third Grade Projects!

Third graders from both Haddam and Burr Elementary schools visited Haddam Center in the last two weeks. They did a scavenger hunt at the Thankful Arnold House, visited the Town Office Building, Brainerd Academy and Courthouse Green. We would like to thank Marge DeBold, First Selectwoman, Lizz Milardo and Town Clerk, Scott Brookes for helping us show Haddam both past and present.

We have also had the honor to visit Burr Elementary School to hear presentations by the students and view their projects which come in many forms including tri-fold boards, booklets and power point presentations. We look forward to these projects every year and the students always do a wonderful job.